Right-handed hard-throwing pitcher Park Young-hyun, 19, of the KT Wiz of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), has announced the birth of a new “international pitcher” to lead Korean baseball.
Park pitched two scoreless innings in the eighth inning of South Korea’s 1-0 win over Japan in the first game of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games Super Round on Friday at the Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Center 1 in Zhejiang, China, to secure a 2-0 victory.
In the top of the eighth inning with a 1-0 lead, Park Young-hyun, Korea’s third pitcher, got leadoff hitter Jin Nakamura to ground out to shortstop and then got the next batter, Ryo Kinami, to fly out to center field for the second out. Two batters later, he gave up a double to left to Hiroki Nakagawa, but got pinch-hitter Kazuya Shimokawa to fly out to center to get out of the first jam.
After scoring a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 2-0, Young-hyun Park took the mound in the top of the ninth, but an error and a hit by shortstop Kim Ju-won put runners on first and second with no outs. But Young-hyun Park, who is not yet 20 years old, got three clean outs as if nothing was wrong.
He induced Masashi Maruyama to ground into a double play to strand the runner at first base, then got Kohei Sasagawa to fly out to center field to preserve the win.
Young Gun Young-hyun, who turns 20 in just over a week, has been the standout performer among KT’s relievers in his second year as a professional. With three wins, four saves and 32 holds, he is on the verge of becoming the hold king.
His 150-kilometer fastball is reminiscent of Oh Seung-hwan’s childhood, as he doesn’t run away from batters, but fights them head-on with a “hit me if you can” attitude, earning him the nickname “the second Oh Seung-hwan” or “the second endgame king”.
Young-hyun Park’s true colors were on full display at the tournament, where he was named to the senior national team for the first time. After throwing one inning of one-hit, two-strikeout ball in the first game against Hong Kong, he came in with runners on second and third in the bottom of the sixth inning against Chinese Taipei, down 0-2.
Only two other Korean pitchers have appeared in all three games, right-hander Park Young-hyun and left-hander Choi Ji-min (KIA). Coach Ryu Joong-il was pleased to see Young-hyun unafraid to throw the ball around. He even beat out Ko Woo-seok (LG), the best closer in the Korean Professional Baseball Organization, for the national team’s closing spot.
Coach Ryu Joong-il said, “We have two pitchers, Park Young-hyun and Ko Woo-seok, so we’ll see how things go,” but he seems to be leaning toward Park. Given that Go Woo-seok struggled in the ninth inning against Taiwan, giving up two runs, it’s likely that Young-hyun will be in charge of the back door for the remaining two games.메이저놀이터
“I was nervous because it was a Korea-Japan game, but I threw with the idea of blocking it unconditionally because it was 1-0 and too tight,” Park said. “I thought Woo Seok-hyung would pitch in the ninth inning, but pitching coach Choi Il-un asked me to pitch one more inning,” he said of his situation.
“There were fielding errors and hits, and it could have gone badly, but catcher (Kim) Hyung-joon said, ‘We have to catch these batters now. We can’t fall apart,'” he added.
“There’s a part of me that believes my brothers have faith in me, and I wanted to repay that faith,” Park said, adding, “If I can stop the team from winning, I can win, so I wanted to do that.”
“It doesn’t seem like much, but I’m nervous, but my ball is so good that it gives me a lot of confidence,” he said, “I’m throwing like I did in Korea, and I’m confident in my fastball. The fact that my ball is better means that I have managed my condition well,” he said loudly.